June 3 2001 Alan Ball, who went on to create the "True Blood" series, introduced us to the Fisher family in the most unusual way. The Fisher family business is a funeral home so we get plunged into that world with the death of the patriarch of the family on his way to pick up his son Nate (Peter Krause) from the airport. Nate and his brother David (Michael C. Hall) take over the family business. Lauren Ambrose, Frances Conroy, Rachel Griffiths, and Matthew St. Patrick round out the cast. Also appearing is Richard Jenkins as the father. Even though he dies the first few minutes, he recurs throughout the series in visions and flashbacks.
The very core of the series is the way it deals with death. It is more than just a business. It is a fact of life. The way it is handled, the way we grieve, the way we process. The cold open varies in many ways as each death is portrayed. You come to expect a death in every opening so the creators start toying with the viewer. You may see someone clutching their chest and thinking they are next but they end up fine and the death comes from someone unexpected and out of left field.
"Six Feet Under" is a little out of my wheelhouse since it’s a drama. Usually, I do horror or comedy. Usually, a drama would have to be quirky. Not just quirky but downright weird. Like "Twin Peaks" weird. Not that "Six Feet Under" isn't without it quirks. I guess a series based around a family running a funeral home can be considered odd. So, I guess that sets it just inside my genre specifications. And of course, nearly all shows nowadays have a little humor in them. This is no exception. Of course, it comes unexpected circumstances and times but that's all part of the Fisher Family vibe.
SFU lasted 5 seasons, totaling 63 episodes and one of the most profound, spectacular finales ever filmed. The acting and writing is top notch. The only bad thing I could possibly say about this series is there was one episode (one single episode) where things took a dark turn that I didn't like. It felt very out of its element and not like the rest of the series at all. Those who watched it can probably guess which one. The ones that didn't, well, I won't spoil that bit for you but you'll know it when you get there.
Admittedly, I was late to the party with this one. I didn't actually start watching until years after it finished. On the plus side, it allowed me to binge it all in a matter of weeks instead of taking 5 years to finish it all-- and that’s counting rewatching the episodes with commentaries! Isn't that much better? Do I have any more commentary lovers here? Be warned, these DVDs were made before they commonly released. So, a few have future spoilers. Watch the series before going back for commentaries.
If you haven't watched this show, what are you waiting for? I waited entirely too long to start it. If you have watched it, isn't it time for a rewatch?
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Dave Christy loves horror, music, documentaries and more. He is also the co-runner of several fan based groups including Morningstars (THE Lucifer fan group also run by Melanie), and now is a member of the VIPers Spotlight Lounge team for Melanie's Muses. Other than "In The Spotlight" Features -check out his "31 Days Of Halloween Movies"
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